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Alcatraz East showcases America’s crime history


Ted Bundy’s Volkswagen Beetle, O.J. Simpson’s white Ford Bronco — these controversial automobiles are just a couple of the notable pieces student groups can examine at the Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. 

O.J. Simpson’s Bronco at the Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Photo: Alcatraz East Crime Museum O.J. Simpson’s Bronco, Alcatraz East Crime Museum, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

“Alcatraz East is excited about offering groups an in-depth look into the history of American crime,” said Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer of Alcatraz East Crime Museum. “The museum features hundreds of artifacts capturing notorious moments from the birth of prohibition to the O.J. Simpson Trial and infamous chase. Alcatraz East houses the largest collection of crime and law enforcement-related artifacts in the United States.”

Five different, in-depth galleries spread over two floors showcase American crime: Crime Scene Investigation, The Consequence of Crime, History of Crime, Crime Fighting and Pop Culture. Twenty-eight topics are featured in the galleries, with more than 500 authentic artifacts and 100 interactives. 

Crime Scene Investigation gallery at Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Photo: Alcatraz East Crime Museum Crime Scene Investigation gallery, Alcatraz East Crime Museum, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

In the Crime Scene Investigation gallery, students can learn how detectives solve crimes through fingerprinting, ballistics, DNA and blood analysis, and facial reconstruction. The History of Crime gallery shows the evolution of criminals and crime, from pirates to today’s criminals.

On display through August of this year, “Scamalot: Conquering the Con” is a temporary exhibit focused on helping seniors recognize, refuse and report scams. The museum has collaborated with the AARP Foundation to feature information on IRS scams, tech support scams and sweepstakes scams, and stories on notable fraudsters, including Charles Ponzi.

A motorcoach drop-off area is available at the sidewalk next to the museum, and parking is available in a municipal lot next to The Island in Pigeon Forge. 

Alcatraz East Crime Museum
865-453-3278, ext. 603


About Author

Kelsey Smith, Associate Editor

The more wine columnist Kelsey Smith travels, the more tales she can’t wait to tell. She especially likes to discover how destinations and attractions can accommodate groups. To earn a star on her travel checklist, there better be parking for a motorcoach and dining, at least nearby. Watch for the debut of her blog, “Wine Wednesday.”

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